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Athens to Connecting Flight to Santorini - Is this Enough Time?

Athens to Connecting Flight to Santorini - Is this Enough Time?

Mar 20th, 2011, 12:01 PM
  #1  
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Athens to Connecting Flight to Santorini - Is this Enough Time?

My kids will be flying from Houston, arriving in Athens at 16:10 on a Saturday. They are looking at taking an Aegean Air flight to Santorini that leaves at 18:20 from the same airport.

Do they have enough time to make this connection? Of course, they will have bags to pick up and go through immigration.

Thanks!
soogies is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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It is doable, Athens airport is compact & easy to navigate, but the time is tight. 16.10 will be the hitting the tarmac time, so there's still the disemabarking, shuttle bus to the terminal, then as you say, immigration & bag collection.
The only real problem is it leaves no room for any kind of delay at all, a small one could result in missing the connection.
yiassas is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for you quick reply yiassas!

I think the kids have decided to rearrange the trip and stay in Athens first. They, as well, thought it might be too tight with an overseas flight. But I appreciate your prompt answer.
soogies is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 12:56 PM
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It's a lot more doable if they're changing planes in another EU/Schengen airport where they will have already gone through Passport Control and Customs before arriving in Greece. If that's the case then when they reach Athens all they'll have to do is collect their luggage and go upstairs to check in for their connecting flight.

If they're on a non-stop flight from Houston it will be close, but as long as there are no delays it should be enough time.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Oh - brotherleelove - we were wondering about that!

They change planes at Schipol, AMS. And I just couldn't remember if they did passport control there or if it would be Athens.

Since they land in AMS, then maybe they could do the flight to Santorini immediately upon arrival at ATH. Then would they then collect their bags at AMS and have to re-check after passport control??
soogies is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:26 PM
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brotherleelove - I have another quick question, too. I see that you seem to know a LOT about Athens (here and TA).

The kids have a 05:00 flight leaving Athens on a Sunday in May. I googled airport hotels and was hoping to use HIlton or Marriott points but I don't see anything close. Also, since they'd be in the place less than 10 hours probably, do I even want to blow points for that?

I see the Sofitel is right there at the airport but since they will be in it for such a short time, do you have any other ideas? Are there short term stay hotels at ATH. you know, rent for 8 hours or so??

Thanks in advance!
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Mar 20th, 2011, 01:33 PM
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That does put a different light on it! Yes, they should do the immigration at Schipol as their European entry point. Again, as long as there's no delays the connection timing would be a lot more comfortable without the passport & customs to deal with.
You don't mention the rest of their itinerary, will they spend some time in Athens at the end? If it's not part of the plan I would incorporate at least one night to ensure making the homeward flight, especially if it's a morning one. Missing a transatlantic connection is a bigger problem than missing a short island hop!
yiassas is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Yes, they'll go through all the official stuff at AMS, so 2 hours at ATH should be plenty of time. As for customs, when I passed through AMS last trip I didn't have to collect my bags and re-check them, and I also did not have to go through a Customs check at ATH. The airport 'police' seemed to be much more interested in checking out the pretty girls than inspecting bags. There weren't even any guards around when I left the baggage area.

I know of no short-term rates at hotels in Athens. There are some less-expensive hotels near the airport where the owners will arrange an early-morning taxi pickup for them. Check Peri's Hotel, St. Thomas B&B and the Pantheon Hotel. Also, the Attica Avenue Holiday Inn offers a free shuttle service. I just don't know if it's available at around 2:30-3am, but you can ask by email.
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Mar 20th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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Passport control and customs are 2 different things. They will go through passport control in Amsterdam but will not have to deal with their bags.
If their flight out of Athens is at 5 AM, the Sofitel may be worth the cost as they only have to wake up and walk out the door. When we had an early flight, we booked a prepaid rate at the Sofitel which was not too bad.....well worth it for us.
Judy is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 01:46 PM
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yiassas - this has been a problem in their figuring out the trip. They thought at first they would stay in Athens for 3-4 days, go to Santorini ( by ferry) for 3-4 days. Then, the day before the flight home, which leaves at 05:00 , they would fly to ATH and stay in airport hotel.

The alternate plan was they could just fly to Santorini upon arriving at ATH from their overseas flight - hence, my first question about connection times. Now, upon learning that they will do immigration in AMS, it looks like maybe they could do this original plan: Houston-AMS-ATH, then immediately fly to Santorini. They would then take the ferry back to ATH the day before their 05:00 overseas flight.

Which one would make better sense?
soogies is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:01 PM
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Saving Athens until the end makes the best sense. Fly to Santorini upon first arrival and spend the last few days in Athens.

If they opt for staying in Central Athens that last night there is an Airport Express Bus (X95)for €3.2 (may be €4 this year) per person that leaves from alongside Syntagma Square every 20-30 minutes, 24/7/365 that only takes 45 minutes at that late hour.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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The Houston-AMS-ATH-Santorini does look more possible now, then if they wish they could allow a few days for Athens at the end. Staying centrally they will have the 24/7 airport bus to use, a lot safer bet than a last minute return from an island. Alternatively they have the airport hotel options that BLL & Judy suggested if they only return the day before.
yiassas is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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PS, Off to get some sleep now, it's midnight here in Greece! I will check tomorrow if you have any further questions
yiassas is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Just noticed we are posting together again BLL, but at least we agree!!
Just to clarify, the airport bus is now €5.
yiassas is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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Thank you yiassas and Good Night! You have helped a great deal.

Thanks, too, brotherleelove. The information is very helpful. Since these "kids" are pretty young women maybe they can count on getting swiftly through customs, lol. At any rate, they are seasoned travelers and can handle themselves.
soogies is offline  
Mar 20th, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Thanks, Yiassas. I had read that the fare was going to increase. I just didn't know how much.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  

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